“Lanny” by Max Porter tells a story that isn’t innovative. It’s actually well trodden ground.
There’s a boy and he’s somehow special. He lives in a small village and one day he disappears. A grand search is started. The wrong people are accused of having abused and most likely murdered the boy. Everyone in the village has an opinion and outsiders come into the village.
What makes this book interesting is not the story itself — although Porter added some twists of his own — but how it is told.
The book is divided into three chapters that each describe one of the three stages of the story.
In the first chapter we get to know the boy — Lanny — as seen by three different people. We get snippets of inner monologue from those three people. By and by they tell the story before Lanny’s disappearance.
Chapter two deals with the phase after Lanny’s disappearance. It’s again snippets from inner monologues but also from interrogations and discussions. In many cases we haven’t seen the persons before and won’t meet them again. And the snippets are also often very short. That creates a sense of buzz. Everyone is searching and everyone has an opinion.
In the third chapter it all slows down very much and merges into the showdown. I won’t tell anything more about it here as it would spoil the suspense. Let me just say that it rounds up the story nicely.
Porter uses a direct and contemporary language that is a joy to read. “Lanny” is a small book very worth reading.